The Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program will continue accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2017 summer cooling season through Aug. 31.

Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power, and Dollar Energy Fund, eligible AEP Ohio customers who need help during the summer months can apply for assistance to maintain or restore their electric service.

Dollar Energy Fund's Hardship Program one of the largest in the country may provide assistance once per program year to families facing an immediate utility crisis.

With help from the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, families in need can receive a grant that is applied directly to their AEP Ohio account that has been terminated or to prevent the termination of their electric service. The program will accept applications from households seeking cooling assistance on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available.

AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009 and have helped more than 48,000 Ohio families with more than $12 million in utility assistance grants.

To apply, customers may contact one of the Neighbor to Neighbor Program network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. To qualify, an applicant's total gross household income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

Households must have made a sincere effort of payment on their electric bill in the last 90 days and have a minimum balance of $50 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Program in Ohio is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio.

Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations also can be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor or by sending a check directly to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.

Every donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program is used to assist eligible families residing in Ohio.

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergyfund.org.